Film fiesta spans Latin American cultures

The vitality of Latin culture will surge onto the screen when Flinders University hosts the 2019 Latin American Film Festival, an inclusive cultural celebration that brings together Adelaide’s Central and South American communities through viewing cinematic contributions from 14 countries.

Now in its 15th year, the Adelaide season of the Latin American Film Festival will be held at Flinders at Victoria Square between 15 November and 29 November, and the screening of all 14 feature films are free and open to the public.

Flinders University sees significant value in being the exclusive Adelaide host of this annual national event, having presented the festival since 2012.

With support from a collective of Central and South American embassies, the film festival serves as an important meeting place and celebration for the Latin American community.

“It’s really important for the people in Adelaide from these different Latin American communities to come together and network – especially the younger people – because it promotes a collective cultural exchange,” says Flinders University’s Dr Olga Sanchez Castro, Spanish Studies and linguistics lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

The opening night on Friday November 15 will feature a new movie from Brazil – Life is a Bitch, a riveting and darkly comic tale from noted Brazilian director Julia Rezende, about ordinary people in the poor part of Rio de Janeiro pushed to absurd extremes when they try to obtain the funds for a lavish wedding celebration.

Dr Castro says this feature film – which will be introduced by Dr Nicholas Godfrey, Flinders University Screen and Media Lecturer – will delight Adelaide’s large Brazilian community, which has consistently been one of the largest cultural groups to have supported the annual festival.

The other 13 movies which will be presented by the Latin American Film Festival on weeknights from 6.30pm are from:

  • Argentina – Man Facing Southeast (18 November)
  • Chile – Broken Panties (19 November)
  • Colombia – Bad Lucky Goat (20 November)
  • Costa Rica – The Gazelle’s Dance (21 November)
  • Cuba – Fallen Gods (21 November)
  • Ecuador – Quijotes Negros (22 November)
  • El Salvador – The Path of the Shadows (22 November)
  • Guatemala – Where All Roads End (25 November)
  • Mexico – Mara’akame’s Dream (26 November)
  • Panama – Grace & Splendor (27 November)
  • Paraguay – The Heiresses (28 November)
  • Peru – Old Friends (28 November)
  • Uruguay – The Pope’s Toilet (29 November)
SaSamba will perform at the opening of the Latin American Film Festival.

The festival attracts several hundred people through its season and has received glowing feedback from attendees.

“It’s very important for these communities to experience movies spoken in their first language, because it reinforces the value of their language and culture,” says Dr Castro.

“It also provides an opportunity for the people of these communities to reach the Australian public and share their culture through the universal language of film.”

All films are presented with English subtitles, and Dr Castro says the festival is attracting a growing number of curious outsiders, far beyond the Latin American communities to also include art cinema buffs, screen studies students and people studying the Spanish language.

Register online for seats at the opening night screening of Life is a Bitch, featuring a guest appearance by local group SaSamba.

Limited seats available. RSVP essential. 

Room 1, Level 1, Flinders at Victoria Square
182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000

Life is a Bitch
Como é Cruel Viver Assim

107 mins | 2018 | Dir: Julia Rezende

The latest film from Brazilian director Julia Rezende is a riveting and darkly comic tale of ordinary people pushed to extremes. In Rio de Janeiro, times are tough and life is expensive – especially when you’re planning a wedding. Unable to do anything to make sense of their lives, four friends come up with an absurd scheme to turn their lives around: kidnap a millionaire. Will these amateur abductors actually pull their plan off?

Film will be shown with subtitles in English. 

The SaSamba collective will perform as part of the Latin American Film Festival opening night celebration on Friday November 15.


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College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences